Pat Dean, Vol. 3 - Like a Rolling Stone

March 3, 2024

Photo Credit

Kyle Post


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


Bill the Dill, Chet Light­ning, and the Sug­ar King walk into a bar. What do you do?

If you’re com­plete­ly mys­ti­fied by this open­ing scene, we can’t blame you. These are (unbeloved) char­ac­ters of The Lanalax Cor­po­ra­tion, a pod­cast with over 700 episodes that met its end on August 25, 2020. Or so we thought. Dur­ing this, our third, inter­view with Pat Dean he drops the news that The Lanalax Cor­po­ra­tion and its cast of unwel­come char­ac­ters is return­ing. As of press time, a hand­ful of new episodes have been released. 

The bare-bones choose your own adven­ture dis­cus­sion which fea­tures Dean and Aaron Brooks (or some­times spe­cial guests) trad­ing roles lead­ing the adven­ture has no for­mal intro­duc­tion or close and nev­er, ever, ever pro­motes itself. The pod­cast tru­ly falls into the cat­e­go­ry of IYKYK expe­ri­ences. In Dean’s words: Just because a pod­cast exists, doesn’t mean you have to lis­ten to it.” But why deprive your­self of lis­ten­ing to Brooks get angry at Dean over the intro­duc­tion of cer­tain char­ac­ters, or the unex­pect­ed demise that is the sig­na­ture of The Lanalax Cor­po­ra­tion. By com­par­i­son, this is Com­e­dy Wham Presents 315th episode, and we would very much like you to lis­ten and – as a bonus – we vow to nev­er kill off any guests.

Just because a podcast exists, doesn’t mean you have to listen to it.
Pat Dean

Obvi­ous­ly, the return of Lanalax is a pleas­ant sur­prise, but so is the rest of the con­ver­sa­tion with Dean. The top­ics mean­der much like a riv­er cov­er­ing absurd top­ics such as Dean’s (you can judge for your­self) impres­sion of Bob Dylan, his uncan­ny pre­dic­tion that the Kansas City Chiefs would win the Super­bowl (the inter­view was record­ed the after­noon of the Super­bowl), Catholic schools, and his fas­ci­na­tion with region­al accents.

But what about com­e­dy, you say? 

Dean left the Austin com­e­dy scene for a few years and returned to man­age The Velvee­ta Room in late 2023. He pre­vi­ous­ly man­aged the Velvee­ta Room for sev­er­al years pre-pan­dem­ic. With his return, some changes were in order. He no longer serves dou­ble duty as both the room man­ag­er and bar­tender, which allows him to focus on ensur­ing pro­duc­ers, comics, and audi­ences are enjoy­ing their time in the cozy club sit­u­at­ed next door to the his­toric (and often loud) Esther’s Follies. 

Dean feels like he has more room to exper­i­ment as a book­er these days. One exper­i­ment that seemed to fall flat is a Tues­day night open mic​“no one drinks any­more!” Dean laments. With­out liquor sales, the exper­i­ment was shut­tered, but that hasn’t stopped Dean from tin­ker­ing with the typ­i­cal Thurs­day to Sat­ur­day com­e­dy pro­gram­ming. Adding a pre-Speed Velv Open Mic show­case to keep butts in seats, allow­ing more cre­ative one-off shows in the Fri­day night 10pm slot, and so on. For those Fri­day night late show slots, Dean sum­ma­rizes his approach as fol­lows:​“We get dumb as fuck. Do you have a dumb idea? Let’s do it!”. Stay tuned for the next dumb idea by fol­low­ing The Velvee­ta Room’s Insta­gram account. You nev­er know what dumb idea will pop up next. 

One idea that isn’t dumb is the fre­quent homage in the new shows to long-time and beloved door­man Michael Parks (him­self a fre­quent recur­ring char­ac­ter in The Lanalax Cor­po­ra­tion). If you’ve been to The Velv, you’re no doubt hear­ing his voice in your head as you’re read­ing this. Sev­er­al new shows are billed as Michael Parks pro­duc­tions and we couldn’t be hap­pi­er that Parks is get­ting his due for being a fix­ture at the door ush­er­ing you into The Velvee­ta Room.

Do you have a dumb idea? Let’s do it!
Pat Dean

Dean has a few obser­va­tions about the changes to the 6th Street enter­tain­ment dis­trict. With Com­e­dy Moth­er­ship, Creek and Cave, Black Rab­bit Com­e­dy Club, and Sun­set Strip just a few blocks away, bark­ing is a more preva­lent part of his busi­ness game. Of the Moth­er­ship specif­i­cal­ly which rou­tine­ly sells out,​“you’re not tak­ing away any busi­ness from any­one because they’ve already sold out and they lit­er­al­ly can’t make any more mon­ey,” so he’ll send bark­ers to let the stand-by line know that they can come see live com­e­dy at The Velv. The bark­ing mod­el is com­mon­place in the crowd­ed and ultra-com­pet­i­­tive New York City com­e­dy scene, which Austin is resem­bling more and more.

As a book­er, he’s had to be more flex­i­ble about the comics he books on shows at The Velvee­ta Room since his return. Reg­u­lar head­lin­ers of yes­ter­year have climbed the com­e­dy ranks and sell out venues far larg­er than the Velv. Nowa­days, the Velv has become a reli­able space for not only nation­al up-and-com­ers but local comics ready to make the leap into head­lin­ing. Pre-pan­dem­ic, if some­one had to back out at the last minute, it used to frus­trate him. These days, he knows that at any giv­en time, 50 work­ing comics are down­town and avail­able to step in. He’s far more relaxed than we’re accus­tomed to.

As our pod­cast draws to a close, Dean can’t help but men­tion, nay, declare that he is a cool uncle, a badge of hon­or he wears proud­ly, even if ver­bal and phys­i­cal abuse comes with the ter­ri­to­ry at the hands of his niece and nephew. On the oth­er hand, he uses words like defen­es­tra­tion and has a ter­ri­ble Bob Dylan imper­son­ation, so real­ly, how cool can he be? Luck­i­ly for him, it’s all fun for him and if it isn’t, he’ll stop doing it. As he puts it,​“That’s what’s cool about life is that you can kind of just stop doing things.” Sage words from a cool uncle.

Fol­low Pat 

Pat can be seen and heard:

  • The Velvee­ta Room — all the damned time (he man­ages and pro­duces shows)
  • I Learned Noth­ing pod­cast with Ben Cholok
  • The Lanalax Cor­po­ra­tion with Aaron Brooks
Support Comedy Wham

Follow @ComedyWham on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitch, and Tiktok

If you'd like to support our independent podcast, check out our Patreon page at: . You can also support us on Venmo or Paypal - just search for ComedyWham.

Pat Dean